Comment period opens on FMCSA’s hours-of-service proposal

August 22, 2019

Mark Schremmer

|

The time is now for truck drivers to provide their feedback on FMCSA’s plan for hours-of-service reform.

FMCSA’s notice of proposed rulemaking published to the Federal Register on Aug. 22, and the 45-day comment period is officially open. Comments can be made at the Regulations.gov website by using docket number FMCSA-2018-0248 until Oct. 7.

The agency proposed five changes to the hours-of-service regulations.

  • The limits for short-haul operations would increase from 12 to 14 hours and from 100 air miles to 150.
  • The adverse driving provision would allow a driver up to a 16-hour window within which to complete up to 13 hours of driving if the driver encounters adverse conditions.
  • The 30-minute break requirement would be modified, prohibiting driving for more than eight consecutive hours without at least one 30-minute change in duty status. This would allow 30 minutes of on-duty, not driving time, off-duty time, or sleeper-berth time to qualify as a break.”
  • In addition to splits of 10/0 and 8/2, drivers would be allowed a split-sleeper option of 7/3.
  • Drivers would have the option of stopping the clock a minimum of 30 minutes and up to three hours consecutively once per duty period.

The first public listening session regarding hours of service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 23 at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas. For those attending, the listening session will be in room C146 inside the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas.

For those who are not be able to attend in person, a livestream of the listening session will be offered. Questions during the live stream can be emailed to listeningsession@dot.gov.

A second listening session is planned for some time in September in Washington, D.C. No specific date has been announced.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association strongly encourages truck drivers to provide input on the proposed changes. OOIDA issued a Call to Action on Thursday, Aug. 22, asking drivers to let the agency know what they think.

“The agency needs to justify the changes that they make, and we are especially pleased that they are reaching out to the real experts – the people who face these situations every day,” OOIDA President Todd Spencer said. “Your feedback is instrumental … What would work best and why? You guys are the experts, and show that you are in your comments to the agency.”

Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, staff writer, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and nearly two decades of journalism experience to our staff.